About Me

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My second child and our first daughter, Camille, died and was born on June, 30 2011 when I was full term at 38 weeks pregnant. I gave birth to my rainbow baby, a second daughter, on August 31, 2012. This is me trying to figure out how to be a mother to my living son and daughter and function in society after our tragic loss.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Ultrasound And All That Other Stuff

So here I am finally able to update. My computer hasn't worked in months and so I have to wait until I have extended access to my husbands laptop. I also want to thank everyone for their kind words, emails, comments etc. They mean more than I can express and your thoughts buoy me. Some of this post is a copy of exchanges via email I had with my friend Mary Beth and I was too lazy to retype it.

This last week was SO hard. D finalized his "Head Master" position (yeah I bet he loves that title..haha) on Tuesday, the same day and time as our anatomy scan. My dear friend April came from Santa Cruz and held my hand as I cried.

The woman who came in to do my ultrasound...I think she had been in my room for 2 seconds by the time I started firing questions at her. She was kind and said that the perinatologist would be able to answer them. I just wanted to know if she was going to be looking at specific things...haha She said she had been working there for two weeks (she has done ultrasounds for a lot longer, just new to childrens hospital) .. um...way to attack the new girl. She asked why I was so upset and I told her... because there isn't a picture of my daughter with "danger danger crazy lady" signs on the front of my file. She said that the scan she did on me is the easiest one she's done in a long time because the morphology of the patients she usually sees makes it difficult to visualize structures (read everyone she scans is totally obese) I guess me being 20 pounds over my usual weight although I am still in the normal range for my height doesn't put me in the category of fat in anyone else's book except mine.

The results of the scan show that right now baby looks normal...which is great right? right...it's great! it is really. I get so emotional every time I see that baby moving around being alive. The sonographer also gave me a 3D picture of the baby which I guess is totally hush hush but she said "considering your history, and your husband can't be here...." I have never seen any of my babies in 3D...I expressed my gratitude, and no offense to anyone who is into those, but I find them somewhat creepy.

The I met with the perinatoloist who my friend wants to make out with (he is super black with light eyes and has an African accent, he is very kind and patient and takes all the time in the world to answer my bazillion questions)...He always tries to reassure me and tells me he would tell me if anything was concerning to him. I always ask him about the numbers and the percentages. Last ultrasound the baby was measuring 1 day ahead. This ultrasound the baby was measuring 2 days behind...ALL NORMAL. He said that if we did a scan next week it could flip flop again. BUT of course that concerns me because everything concerns me.
We were going to find out the sex but D couldn't come to the scan so I asked the sonographer to take a picture or write it down and put it in an envelope so we could open it later that evening.

So the thing is, as we all know, the sex of the baby is so tertiary... With Camille we did not know she was a girl until she was born. I thought it would be fun to wait because we didn't care what sex the baby was. And then we had a girl... And all of a sudden I had fantasies of raising a girl that would never come to fruition.

Then I got pregnant with this baby and all we want is for this baby to be healthy and alive. We all want a healthy living baby in the not so cliche way that only a mama whose baby has died can understand. That being said I would be lying if I said I didn't have a preference. I hate that, it makes me feel like a total A-Hole to say that it matters even a little because it doesn't, but...I lost my daughter and so I honestly did want this one to be a girl. The great thing about having a child already is that I KNOW you want the one you get. Boy or girl you don't want them to be anyone except who they are.

It is easier for me to imagine raising two boys because I've been raising a boy for over 3 years. That imagined life is full of joy and love. Before Camille I never had this huge desire for a girl other than it would be fun to see what she looked like. I was such a tomboy growing up, Super rough and tumble (I'm way more girlie now). The thought of pink sparkles and tutus seemed overwhelming. I know each child is themselves and having an older brother influence will have an impact but you know what I mean. Like I said we didn't know Camille was a girl and she was due in July...IT IS HELL here in the summer...I mean out of control hot and we knew we would have everything if we had a boy and I am super practical. No nursery was set up, only diapers and one pack of white onesies were purchased. No baby shower...nothing. I can't tell you how many times I have cried that I never bought even ONE little dress. It BREAKS MY HEART!

So... if I had a boy I would be thrilled and sad simultaneously. Knowing my chances of raising a daughter were gone would be sad and would add to the loss for me.
If I had a girl I would be thrilled and sad simultaneously. I would be able to know what it was like to live out some of the fantasies of raising a daughter that only exist because Camille was Camille. The sad part is that another girl is not Camille and can not replace her. I don't want heart and mind confusion about that whole replacement dilemma.

So all that being said we found out we are having a girl.  I was not expecting it. I thought this baby was a boy. I have thought every baby I have been pregnant with since I had my son, was a boy.  My son said "I told you" because he knew. He knew with Camille too. I felt slightly relieved but not even that. No joy, no jumping up and down. Just, I hope this one lives. And then later I lost my shit and was balling because I miss Camille so much and I can't have her. I literally was crying on my friends shoulder. I vomited at 1 am that night/morning from total stress overload.

I love this baby already but...it's not a given that we will get to bring this baby home. I am 19 weeks pregnant, almost halfway cooked, and I want to believe. I am scared, but I also have a lot of hope...I just hope! Please keep living baby girl.

These were taken in our backyard today with our hightech superspif camera phones :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The List of Scary

My mind is full of all kinds of things...this last week has been really hard for me. In all honesty I know I am on edge awaiting my next perinatology appointment and ultrasound. This anxiety rolls over into all aspects of my mind. Trying to talk myself down off "the cliffs of insanity" with: "breathe in love, breathe out stress" only works so well. I figured maybe if I write them down they will have less power over me.

1.  I went off my antidepressant...lets just get that one out there to start with. I was taking 1/2 of the lowest dose for the last couple months. Then I forgot to take it one night so I just decided to stop taking it....
I have been a hot mess but there are ALL kinds of reasons that I could be exceptionally emotional.

2.  I read Brooke's blog post and it sent me into a total tailspin (not her fault) it was just a huge trigger. A trigger because I am easily triggered and remember...I'm on edge. I remember like anyone whose baby has died inside of them, that terrible horrific feeling, the one where you push and nudge and plead for movement but nothing comes...NOTHING...
The night I read that post I sat on my bed and sobbed, sobbed and felt like I did in the early days after Camille died. I felt dizzy and lost and beyond sad.
I JUST MISS HER SO MUCH....ALL THE TIME. It doesn't go away. I went downstairs and told D how I was feeling. He rubbed my back and told me I should try and stay positive...That just pissed me off. No comfort there. I can't be positive when I am sad. I feel like I do such a good job most of the time. Enjoying my life, loving, living, hoping, laughing...but I AM SAD too. Here is the other thing: I AM SCARED.

3. I took my second AFP test last week and that stressed me out.

4. I worked 8:30 to 5:30 on Thursday with no lunch and no break and when I do mobilizations I wonder if it is too jerky on the baby.

5. I got a cold and that concerns me....because I AM SCARED.

6. I have only gained 5 pounds so far. I rationalize this with the fact that I started my pregnancy 20 pounds overweight, but I rationalized a lot of things like lack of movement with Camille...so it worries me. My stomach is getting bigger. The doppler reads 135 - 155 bpm, BUT I don't have an appointment until Tuesday.

7. Here is a BIG HUGE ONE: D got a new job last week...or lets say he is in the process of getting a new job. D has his graduate degree in administration and he's had it for several years. He got a job right after Camille died signed a contract etc...and then we got into that horrific car accident. He went through the whole process of un-interviewing and going back to his old job in the classroom and coaching. He decided to pursue it again and he got a vice principle job this last week or rather he is their "recommended candidate" and has three more interviews next week. I am happy for him. He stepped down from the last position for our family and now I think this will be good for him....BUT it just so happens that his last interview is with the Superintendent at the same exact time as our BIG ultrasound at children's hospital. He cannot change the meeting time. I tried to change my appointment but they didn't have anything until after the window of gestational age bracket for this ultrasound. I tried to explain the situation but it made no difference. I CAN NOT GO ALONE! So I called my BFF and doula who has been there through both of my births and held and kissed both of my children and she will drive from Santa Cruz for the ultrasound with me...THANK GOODNESS...because I AM SCARED and I am going to be a wreck.

I keep thinking that if I could just get through this next week. If everything looks good, maybe I can BELIEVE a little more, breathe a little easier. I am short tempered and quick to tears. I recognize that this is a sign of my stress, my lack of control and my investment in our family, our future, and this baby. I recognize that I am still entrenched in my grief and I will spiral into depths of despair (dear Anne of Green Gables) at any given moment. I am just hoping that somehow all of this turns out positively. Everything about my pregnancy with Camille was perfect, normal, uneventful...until she was dead. I still don't know how a perfectly healthy baby just dies. So now when they run tests on me and say...everything looks totally normal... it gives me little consolation except that I am so glad that it is normal....Sigh.

SOOOOO there it is...many of my worries written down and sent off into the universe or at least blogland. Hoping that it can turn into bright white lights and the stress that is removed will leave my soul open for more love and peace....at least that is what I would say to my son if we were in our meditation space.
"Good loving thoughts, good loving words, good loving feelings"

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Waiting Line

I know I should post an update, the one that tells all the details of where we are in the pregnancy, how long we tried, when we found out, how happy I was to know I had another chance...

But the truth is: I'm scared.

No...terrified (said in a whisper so as not to wake the gods)

A couple weeks ago I was convinced that the baby was dead. I had an OB appointment and it took my doctor a couple minutes to find the heartbeat. I felt like I had run 12 miles. I felt sick to my stomach and I flashed to having to go through the process of being un-pregnant, telling people, figuring out how not to spiral into the deepest pit of despair ever. Then there was a heartbeat and even the doctor freaked out and said "don't DO that to me", he is invested too and I know he was scared. Nothing quite like me...

The next several days were filled with doubt. I couldn't sleep for DAYS. I went in on Monday and asked to hear the heartbeat. I have never done that with any of my pregnancies. When the NP who I saw asked if there was a change over the weekend from my appointment on Thursday I said no....I am just scared. I told myself that if there was a heartbeat and the baby was still alive I would try and BELIEVE that this baby may actually live and come home with us. I got a Doppler and it has actually really helped. At first it was as anxiety inducing as it was relieving and I used it only every several days....Now...I use it almost everyday.

A Doppler would not have saved Camille's life. She was alive at 10pm at night and dead by 3am in the morning. There isn't anything that could be done at this point anyway. I am not far enough along. Right now it is a sit and wait and hope situation.

I just told the owner of the clinic where I work last week that I am pregnant. I am still not OUT about my pregnancy although everyone suspects and asks questions behind my back because....it is pretty obvious. I got pregnant 6 months after giving birth to a full term baby....this is my third pregnancy. My body has no problem "outing" me to the world.

The truth is, no matter how much I want to BELIEVE that this will work out....I am still scared. I have the baby's anatomy scan next week and I think I will believe a little more after that appointment if all goes well.

I am so attached to this baby. I was attached after my first ultrasound, that is just how my heart works. I am "all in" from the beginning. I want to be detached but that isn't my style. I want Camille but I can't have her. I want this baby but it feels like such a distant reality.

All I can do is sit and wait and hope....Oh and try not to FREAK THE F-OUT!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Rocking Three

Kai asks me to rock him.
I hold him in my lap.
I sing to him or hum softly with my lips against his soft blond hair.
I breathe in his little boyness and think to myself:
I am rocking all three of my babies.
One is in my lap, one is in my heart and one is in my belly.
So much joy, so much sadness and so much hope...
all wrapped up in one session of rocking and a little hum.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dead People

My son has said some incredibly intuitive and lovely things that I never thought would come from a 2.5/3 year old. The other evening he stated that when people die they are still here with us. I anticipated something profound from him like the previous statements such as "they are in our peaceful place" or "they will always be in our hearts" but no, he says: "when people die they are still here with us, we put them in tiny boxes and put them on our shelves, like our dog and Camille"

Well that just kinda makes me laugh...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

9 months

I miss Camille So incredibly much.

This week was hard. There is something about the dual lives that shadow each other. The one where my daughter is here and nine months old- this is the life I am supposed to be living. The other where she has been dead for the same amount of time that she was alive within me. It makes my throat cinch up and my breath get shallow.

I don't know how 9 months has passed. It seems like such a long and short period of time. I wonder in the crazy of my mind (although I don't believe in fate) if I was ever meant to have her. Sometimes it feels so inevitable that she would die. Maybe because she is dead. I wonder still how this was to be the existence I would lead. I know there are no answers to the whys and the wondering, but the questions swirl in my mind regardless. It feels as if there was never a chance for Camille to come home alive.

I know this is not true.
I know this is not true.
My reality has shifted towards a life in which she is dead. It is hard to see past that now. I love her regardless. I love her in spite of it. Death may have taken her, but it can not kill my love.

I just keep going. It is the best I can do. I grasp fiercely at the joy and love in my life.
Telling people I love them no longer seems arbitrary.

9 months has passed. I miss her so much. The missing has not changed. I doubt it ever will.